This is the 3rd and final post in our History and Culture series, (which is also about beer). Just for a quick re-cap we have a range of Brew2bottle's own recipe premium home-brew kits, dedicated to and inspired by our local history in Mid Cheshire.
Have a look at our other posts in the series, Swing Bridge Bitter, and Salt Worker's Stout.
King's Lock and the Wardle Canal
In this article we'll focus on The Trent and Mersey Canal.
The Kings Lock at Middlewich is where the Trent and Mersey is joined by the Wardle Canal, the smallest in England at a mere 150 feet long. This was built to ensure that the Trent and Mersey company had control of the junction with the rival Shropsire Union canal. 18th Century canal-war politics!
North of Middlewich the Trent and Mersey heads through the Big Lock and in to the "Big Lock pound". The Big Lock pound is the old boatmen's name for this stretch of water (a pound being the water between two locks ie impounded) leaving the Big Lock in middlewich it signifies a chance to put away the windlass, leaving the work of the Cheshire locks behind you and enjoy the long lock-free pound for a good 15 miles all the way to the bridgewater canal.
The Big Lock pound has had a torrid time due to flooding, subsidence and a massive breach in recent history. The pound crosses the River Dane on a steel aqueduct which is 9' wide, this is a replacement of the original aqueduct that was washed way by the river Dane in the 1930s, the original footings of the 2 arch aqueduct can still be seen in the bank and under the water.
It also suffers from subsidence caused by wild brine pumping (check out our Salt Worker's Stout it's all their fault!) in the last 2 centuries this has led to most of the bridges on the pound being replaced with flat decks to allow them to be easily jacked up when the surrounding land subsides, and a diversionary course being put in place right in the heart of the Northwich salt-mining area at Marston.
A big hole!
A massive breach, due to a land-slip in 2012, put a rather large hole in the pound at Dutton, just north-west of Northwich, and sent 15 miles of canal water hurtling down the hillside and across the fields for a quarter of a mile into the River Weaver. It cost a cool £2.1m to repair, and the pound was non-navigable for the 9 months.
So raise a glass of Brew2bottle King's Lock Lager to help drown the sorrows of the Trent and Mersey Boatman!
Kings Lock Lager makes 40 pints (23 litres) of full-bodied golden lager, with an authentic Pilsner enzyme to produce a drier lager if you prefer something a little lighter and stronger.
Some customer feedback for our King's Lock Lager kit:
Really great pilsner, lovely flavour - highly recommended.5* - Stuart
If you like pilzner lager this one will give you what you want. Pilzner sachet which is provided with this kit give really nice aroma and taste.5* - Marcin